Perhaps you’re planning to rent from a landlord who is leery of having a dog on their property. You may also be searching for petcare from a private pet-sitter or hoping to win over a roommate who’s on-the-fence about living with your dog. Whatever your motivations, creating a pet resume (all the rage, these days) can help you to secure a great home and can convince just about anyone of your pet’s exceptional qualities. Here’s how to do it right.
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Be sure to include a few photos of your dog. Not only does this provide the “awww” factor, but it can also highlight certain attributes about your animal. If they’re good with children, show a picture of them with kiddos. If you want to demonstrate that they’re friendly with other dogs, show a group-shot of them with their best pals at the dog park.
Letters of Recommendation
If your landlord is on the fence about allowing you to have a pet, gather letters of recommendation from previous landlords. Be sure that they include the following:
- How much you paid for your pet deposit?
- How much of that deposit was returned to you?
- Were there every any noise or barking complaints related to your animal?
Remember: Only include information that helps your dog shine.
Your pet resume should also include the following details about your animal that may be important for a landlord or pet sitters. It’s also not a bad idea to back these details up with paperwork for a Letter of Recommendation from your vet.
- Age, weight, breed
- Is your dog spayed or neutered?
- Are your pet’s shots current?
- Is your pet registered with your county?
- Has your dog attended any obedience training?
“Agressive Breeds” and How to Get Beyond the Bad Rep
Some breeds continuously land on apartments and landlords “restricted list, including Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Huskies, Dobermans, and Rottweilers. While every good dog owner knows that it’s not the breed, but rather how the dog is socialized and treated, that has the biggest impact on their behavior, many apartments, landlords, and potential roommates are still hesitant.
Unfortunately, some homeowner and property insurance will raise rates or will restrict coverage if “aggressive breeds” are on the property. For potential roommates, they may not have had any experience with the breed and may have formed assumptions based solely on what they’ve heard in the media or seen in movies.
That being said, even a pet resume might not give you wiggle room with your landlord or roommate but, if they are willing to consider your animal, here are a few things you can do in addition to the pet resume.
- Agree to sign a liability release for your landlord. Should anything happen with you animal on their property, this may protect them in court.
- Suggest a “meet and greet” with your dog and potential landlord or roommate. Once they meet your pet, their concerns might be laid to rest.
- Agree to sign a probationary pet agreement. Suggest that your pet be granted access to your living quarters for 4-6 months on a probationary basis. If no issues come up, they get to stay for the duration of the lease.
- Sign a pet agreement with your roommate detailing how your pet will be managed at home. In other words, outlining how you will take full responsibility for any damages or issues that arise on your pet’s behalf.